On Halloween

Costumes, candy, horror stories, parties, and lots of strange behavior mark the final day of October. I think that most mainstream religion visibly cringes at the religious tones of the holiday, or just relaxes and accepts it openly as one of those strange manifestations of supernatural belief that can neither be denied nor dismissed. There exists a carnivalesque atmosphere that draws people in who dress as zombies, politicians, monsters, superheroes, or whatever as an expression of the innermost desires to be heard and seen as something other than what they are during a routine day. Halloween is definitely a break from the routine, a break from the established social orders, a break from the sadness that often crowds into our daily lives. People wear masks, or perhaps they take one off. They eat candy–lots of it. Perhaps what people are doing with Halloween is confronting their fears–of the darkness, of the unknown, of the future, of economic ruin, of joblessness, of death. The dark, festive nature of Halloween is attractive because it speaks to the repressed desires that lurk just off camera for most people. Whether those desires are sexual, or violent, or perverse, or gluttonous, or lazy is the thing that brings out the ghosts and goblins on the last day of October. The year is winding down, summer is over, and the year is drawing to a close, boredom is creeping in from all sides. Halloween is a salute to our darker natures, the hidden ego, which, for one day a year, gets a chance to go out on the town and play.